Proposed SXSW panel: a suck.com reunion organized by Ana Marie Cox, aka Ann O’Tate.
While its sarcasm traits set Suck apart from the great majority of (painfully earnest) West Coast-based technology “ezines”, Suck’s lasting legacy is only partially based on the words it contained. Rather, Suck changed forever the way people think about writing for the web — they perfected, if not invented, the practice of embedding links not as explanatory reference points but as commentary in and of themselves. Suck imploded rather unspectacularly, but its journey offers lessons: From purchase by a deep-pocket media company (Wired) to a quick-hit book project, to its ultimately deadly jump into crowd-generated content. Is that a cycle most indie projects are doomed to complete? For a publication devoted to debunking Panglossian outlooks on the mediasphere, a shocking number of Suck alumni have turned up, closing on two decades later, as influential, even aspirational, figures in their own right, with careers based on bridging the still-extant (if narrowing) gap between old and new media.
As I told a friend a few months ago, if someone launched a site with Suck’s voice and spirit today, it would *kill*. (The Awl comes pretty close.)